Serum C-reactive protein: a prognostic factor in metastatic urothelial cancer of the bladder
Eggers H, Seidel C, Schrader AJ, Lehmann R, Wegener G, Kuczyk MA, Steffens S. Med Oncol. 2013 Dec;30(4):705. doi: 10.1007/s12032-013-0705-6. Epub 2013 Sep 5.


Department of Hematology, Hemostasis, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany,


Until today, there is no reliable prognostic or predictive parameter for the prognosis of patients with metastatic urothelial cancer of the bladder prior to chemotherapy. Recently, serum C-reactive protein (CRP) level has been shown to be associated with survival of patients with various malignancies including localized and metastatic renal cell carcinoma, upper urinary tract as well as penile cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic impact of the pretreatment CRP serum level in patients with metastatic urothelial cancer of the bladder. We retrospectively evaluated 34 patients with metastatic urothelial cancer of the bladder and information about the CRP level prior to chemotherapy. The CRP level was correlated with patient- and tumor-specific characteristics. Kaplan-Meier and log-rank analyses were employed to calculate progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was used to determine an optimal prognostic CRP cutoff value to predict cancer-specific death. The median PFS to first-line chemotherapy and the OS for the whole cohort were 3.3 and 24.3 months, respectively. Serum CRP in mg/l was significantly associated with patients' survival (HR 1.02, p < 0.001, univariate Cox-regression). ROC analysis identified a CRP value of 80 mg/l to be the optimal cutoff. The median PFS was 4.5 and 3.0 months (p = 0.08; Mann-Whitney test), and the calculated 1-year OS was 82.6 and 22.2 % for patients with a CRP <80 and ≥80 mg/l, respectively (log-rank, p < 0.001). In contrast, neither T-stage, tumor grade, sex, age nor the body mass index was related to the CRP level or associated with overall survival. This is the first analysis revealing that the CRP value prior to systemic treatment might be of prognostic significance and could enable better risk stratification for patients with metastatic urothelial cancer of the bladder.